Letter from the President: Health Care Redesign Forum

Dear Colleagues,

Our MCMS Health Care Redesign Forum on October 9th was well received and informative.  In fact, it was the only such forum to occur in a county medical society in the state of Texas to date.  If you were not able to attend I ask that you please refer to the attached Power Point presentations and newspaper articles for a summary of the forum.  The main conclusion of the forum is that meaningful health care reform needs to occur with the main drivers being physicians and patients.

The McLennan County Medical Society membership has before it a great opportunity to set an example for community based health care delivery redesign that will reduce waste in medical spending, improve access, foster wellness and patient self-responsibility, improve quality and safety in healthcare and enhance physician and patient satisfaction.  We have over 470 members who have the creative energy and dedication to the profession of medicine to make this reality.  We need your ideas and suggestions as to how we can move forward in a constructive manner.  Please take the time to review and answer some of the questions below on our website or by email.  We will provide you with a summary of the responses in December.

•    How can we improve clinical information exchange amongst clinicians to reduce care duplication, unnecessary care services and costly inefficiencies?

•    How can we reduce the clinical anxiety that leads to “speculative” or defensive medicine spending which persists despite excellent tort reform?

•    How do we educate patients (and physicians) about the real cost of medical services and what care is supported by scientific evidence-based medicine?

•    How do we improve access to sound preventive health services?  Only 40% of US adults get the preventive care that is recommended.

•    How do we promote and foster patient responsibility for health and self- management in our community?

•    How can we consistently provide patients information about meaningful palliative care that allows them to proactively self-determine and express the desired care they wish to receive in their journey toward death?

•    What processes can we all put in place to enhance the quality and safety of the care we provide in all clinical settings?   Think of the quality and safety standards that we expect various industries to follow.  For instance, we expect airline pilots and mechanics to follow their checklists so we can travel safely from point A to point B.

•    What practice enhancements or redesign has your practice instituted that has increased physician and patient satisfaction?

•    How can we more actively support the TMA Healthy Vision 2020 and other TMA initiatives?

We look forward to hearing from you.  Thank you for your input.

With Warmest Regards,
Charles H. Stern, M.D.
MCMS President




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